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Issie, St Helen and St Katharine

Where the World Ends

This book was very emotional and made me think about what used to happen nearly 300 years ago and the kind of perilous journeys men and boys had to make across the sea to earn their living, camping on a cold, hard, bleak island with almost no shelter at all, often staying for a couple of weeks at a time. On this trip, things get even harder for those who went because no-one comes to pick them up and they become stranded there not knowing what has happened or what will happen.
The plot was really interesting with quite a few twists as it went on which I never would have guessed were coming. The story was about some people from the Isle of Hirta (which is in a group of islands called Kilda off the mainland of Scotland) and a much smaller island or actually just a tiny spit of rocks in the middle of the ocean. This spit is treacherous for them to reach and survive on and when they are left there for longer it becomes so much worse. It was really interesting to find out more about a part of Britain that I knew nothing about.
The story itself and the style it was written in is aimed at older children or young adults and so it was quite a mature style but still very easy to read although emotional. It did make me understand about how hard their lives were.
I really liked the way the characters were presented. The story revealed secrets about them as it went along and by the end I felt like I had really got to know them well. Most of the book is in the 3rd person and focussed on Quilliam who is one of the older boys. The characters’ relationship with each other become more and more meaningful – and not always in a good way as things get a bit tense between some of them. The characters are all boys and men although some of them talk about women and girls between themselves. Things between them really do change when they realise that they are stranded and have no way to contact anyone for help.
The style of the book makes it very gripping and the language makes it easy to read as the sentences are all quite short. Using the Scottish words and names in the book really helps to set the scene and make it believable (it is base don a true story). This gives a strong feeling of where the writer is describing. And the 3rd person narrative helps you to see it from a bird’s eye view.
I would rate this book as a 9 out of 10. I do think it would be good to read it written from one of the character’s points of view but the book as it is written is very gripping and I really enjoyed it!

Posted on: 26th April 2018 at 09:40 am

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